Derbyshire business boss on unemploment figures

A Derbyshire business leader has expressed disappointment at the rise in the number of unemployed people in the East Midlands, but says the drop in the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance was positive.

Commenting on the employment figures released this week, Scott Knowles, Deputy Chief Executive of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Although the overall unemployment increase for the East Midlands is once again disappointing, particularly given that the national figure has again fallen over the last three months, the fall in JSA claimants is positive.

“Recent Chamber research found that a majority of local firms feel that the economy fell into recession in the second quarter of the year and in that context, these figures aren’t surprising. However, the Chamber survey also found that around 25% of Derbyshire firms recruited in the second quarter of 2012, with 45% planning to recruit in Q3 – the highest level since March 2008.

“There have been a number of large employers in Derby and its surrounds announcing contract wins or expansion plans recently and these new jobs will be starting to filter through and reflected in the claimant count.

“That said, there are still uncertainties ahead. The ongoing eurozone debt crisis continues to present challenges for local exporters at a time of dampened domestic demand and this Government can still do more to create the right environment for business growth.

“In exchange for facing up to increased variability and risk in the global economy, business leaders want stability, clarity and positive, pro-business policies in return. That means shifting the focus from short-term, ‘quick win’ gimmicks to delivering a long-term industrial strategy which frees up the labour market, pump-primes infrastructure, encourages investment and help improves access to finance for viable businesses.”